One of the major selling points of Google's Pixel smartphone since launch has been its camera, which has managed to impress both users and critics alike. Interestingly, an app developer has now figured out a way to bring the same camera improvements (on the software side) that are carried out on by the Google camera app on Pixel smartphones to other Android smartphones that feature capable processors. Separately, Google has pushed out a new update to the Google Camera app (v4.4) that allows users to take selfies with flash.
Talking first about the workaround to get the Pixel-like image processing, specifically the HDR+ feature, an Ukranian developer who goes by the name B-S-G has shared a modified version of the search giant's Google Camera app. This modified version of the app reportedly brings along the HDR+ image processing to any device that features either a Snapdragon 820, Snapdragon 821, or Snapdragon 835 SoC. The app, v4.4.012.156195200, was taken from the third Android O developer preview.
XDA Developers' writer Adam Conway says that he managed to test the modified version of the app on devices such as LG G6, OnePlus 5, OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 3, and Samsung Galaxy S8. Conway says that he can confirm that the app does work on these aforementioned handsets and works with Google's HDR+ technology. He further adds that "there was a clear difference in the pictures after it was done processing."
XDA Developers independently checked the app to see if it is safe to install (sideload link) and during the process discovered that the developer introduced referenced to "muskie" and "Google Pixel XL 2" in order to fool the app into thinking that it is being run on the new generation of Pixel smartphone. Notably, the Google Camera app works on a range of Android 7.1.1 Nougat smartphones, however, it only offers all its features to the latest Google Pixel and Nexus devices.
Coming to the latest update of the Google Camera app, the search giant has introduced the Selfie Flash feature with v4.4. It's essentially an off-white hued screen flash for when using the front-facing camera. Essentially, with this feature turned on, the app turns the entire display into an off-white colour that provides a soft flash to improve pictures taken in low-light. All users need to do is turn on flash while in front camera mode. The update also brings along the ability to shut off shutter sound in certain regions.